Essentials definitions

Essentials for staff

The La Trobe Essentials are not just about content. The Essentials are often inextricably interrelated. In practice, for example, Sustainability Thinking and its associated challenges will often require students to consider a ‘sustainability’ issue’s global dimensions, and/or its relationship to the possible benefits and costs of innovation. Such important interrelationships are a key feature to which students will be exposed. Subjects which are deemed ‘Essentials’ will address one or more of the following:

Global Citizenship

During their degrees all La Trobe University students will reflect on the opportunities and obligations of their citizenship in a globalising world. This entails:

  • recognising the broader global context in which their studies exist;
  • understanding the diversity of values and perspectives across the globe;
  • developing personal and technical skills to interact effectively with a diverse range of people in a world of complex interdependence;
  • actively engaging with a wide range of communities and institutions to meet the demands of global challenges and obligations.

The Global Citizenship Essential is strongly supported by the development of cultural literacy as a graduate capability at La Trobe. Acquiring cultural literacy entails engagement with Indigenous values and knowledge, by all students.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation relates to the introduction of the new; renewal, and change. Entrepreneurship at La Trobe refers to seizing opportunities and managing them effectively to realise their potential. La Trobe students will develop skills and knowledge in innovation and entrepreneurship, to include:

  • understanding and experiencing the dynamics of change;
  • the generation and effective management of new ideas
  • the ability to network, forge partnerships, collaborate and effectively communicate;
  • flexibility and creativity in developing ideas, and in resolving complex problems;
  • the capacity to apply theory, locate and synthesise knowledge resources, prioritise action and manage associated risks.

Sustainability Thinking

Sustainability Thinking is a capacity to engage effectively with social, environmental and economic change and challenges in the contemporary world. These include, for example, climate change, food and water security and human and labour rights.

Sustainability Thinking demands that all La Trobe University students reflect on:

  • the complex interactions between natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems;
  • our obligations to future generations;
  • how the choices we make will affect the public good and the well being of future generations.

At La Trobe, Sustainable Thinking is inextricably linked to good global citizenship.

Essentials for students

One of the goals of studying the Essentials is to equip students to think and respond beyond conventional boundaries, to foster adaptable thinking and the capacity to apply knowledge and skills in a future as yet unknown to us. So what do we mean when we talk about the Essentials...

Global Citizenship

Our globe is now more interconnected than ever.

Important decisions made in the boardrooms, government departments or a family deciding to step foot on a leaky boat in search of a better life can affect us and our society in profound ways.

Even seemingly small acts, including what we buy at the checkout to which party we  vote for, can have huge implications for what happens in far distant places.

The media we use, whether it’s the latest YouTube clip that’s gone viral, a new blockbuster computer game or Facebook status updates draw us into a web of endless global interconnections, unprecedented in human history.

At La Trobe, we’re committed to creating opportunities for you to learn about the civic, social and economic responsibilities that come with being a global citizen.

This includes:

  • highlighting how your studies fit into the larger global picture;
  • presenting you with the diversity of values and viewpoints on a range of issues around the globe;
  • providing you with experiences to develop skills to effectively work and communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds; and,
  • showing you how you propel your career and maximise your contribution in a globalised society

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The future is waiting to be invented.

From the latest technologies to finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems like global poverty, current approaches won’t solve future challenges.

Tomorrow’s innovators and inventors will need to seize and make the most of opportunities. They’ll need to be able to think on their feet. The pace of change and the intensity of competition will require employees and managers to devise new strategies and target new markets and audiences.

La Trobe is committed to creating opportunities for you to take an active role in  shaping the forces that will shape our world. Throughout your courses at La Trobe you will:

  • be taught how to thrive in a fast-changing world;
  • be challenged to use your creativity to generate and effectively manage new ideas;
  • learn how to understand and solve complex problems; and,
  • locate and use knowledge to reduce risk and make smart decisions.

Sustainability thinking

Meeting today’s needs without compromising our common future.

It’s a simple idea, but one that entails making often complex decisions about our environment, our economy, our demands for social justice and our culture.

Sustainability thinking is joined-up thinking. It’s about securing our future food and water supplies while we ensure the future of the planet’s diverse plant and animal species.

It’s about ensuring that economic growth goes hand-in-hand with strengthening people’s human and political rights.

And it’s about ensuring that our diverse cultures are respected and thrive.

Sustainability thinking is embedded into all of La Trobe University’s courses.

Throughout your studies, you will have opportunities to:

  • reflect on your obligations to future generations;
  • examine how the choices you make will affect the well being of others and future generations; and,
  • appreciate the complex interactions between natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems.